Democrats Need to Gear Up For a Tough 2014

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Ed Kilgore warns liberals not to get complacent about demographic trends that seemingly favor Democrats for years to come:

There has been a lot of talk in both parties about the implications for future elections of the coalition-building strategies of both candidates, mainly revolving around the demographic trends that are likely to make the Obama Vote gradually more dominant in future presidential cycles.

But before we get to the next presidential election….the huge strategic challenge for Democrats is finding a way to win a midterm election where the turnout patterns inherently favor the opposition, thanks to the unusual alignment of the two parties with elements of the electorate that do (older white voters) and don’t (younger and minority voters) tend to participate in midterms, for reasons that have little or nothing to do with the issues on the table. Over-enthusiastic assessments of the value of the Obama GOTV operation—even assuming it can be deployed by the party as a whole in a midterm—may underestimate the difficulty of a very different landscape, aside from the historical evidence about the exceptional difficulty of “sixth-year” elections for the party holding the White House.

As Ed says in another post, “Midterms always, always produce an electorate that is older and whiter than presidential cycles.” And that’s obviously a boost for Republicans, as is the “six-year itch” that generally favors the party not in control of the White House.

In other words, even if Obama’s stunningly successful GOTV operation can be replicated by Democrats in the 2014 midterms, it’s probably not enough. The next two years are going to be tough ones for Democrats.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate